El Greco, ‘Saint Jerome as Scholar’, ca. 1610, The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Image rights: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Robert Lehman Collection, 1975), licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal

About El Greco

El Greco (meaning “the Greek”), born Domenikos Theotokopoulos, is widely regarded as one of the foremost painters of the Spanish Renaissance. His paintings are renowned for their spiritual intensity and use of radically foreshortened, elongated figures, depicted in often brilliant, unnatural flesh tones. Initially trained in Crete as a Byzantine icon painter, El Greco moved to Italy in 1567, where he studied with the Venetian Renaissance painters Titian and Tintoretto. A decade later he settled in Toledo, Spain, where he spent the rest of his life and painted two of his most celebrated works, the stormy View of Toledo (n.d.) and the Burial of Count Orgaz (1586). El Greco’s expressionistic use of vivid color, swirling compositions, and plastic forms influenced generations of artists from Velázquez to Picasso to Cézanne.

Greek, ca. 1541 - 1614, Candia, Crete, based in Toledo, Spain